Jen %amp; Angie
nytheatre.com review by Don Jordan
August 27, 2009
Jen & Angie provides its audience with a hypothetical peek into what might happen if Angelina Jolie (played by Christina Casa) and Jennifer Aniston (played by Laura Buchholz) were stranded on a desert island following an airplane crash. The key to this 30-minute comic story being the well documented love triangle between the two women and Brad Pitt (who, by the way, spends the play on stage in the form of a mannequin).
As writers, Buchholz and Casa, have spent most of their energy on developing the relationship, or lack thereof, between the two movie stars once they crash on the island, and director Susannah Beckett has established an uncomplicated, open playing space to let them have some fun. The addition of an opening video montage and a live voiceover from the airplane pilot (played by the assistant stage manager Jeremiah!) also helps establish the sense that anything is possible.
For whatever reason, however, the performance never takes off. Casa seems quite at home in the persona she has established as Angelina Jolie, yet Buchholz seems uncomfortable and unsure of what she is doing. In a play based on a scenario that puts the two at odds, this makes the battle a little one-sided. Regardless, the audience seemed to enjoy themselves at this lighthearted affair despite the obvious lack of parity between the two caricatures. If only there were a boot camp for gossip column debutantes to train for the ultimate battle of wits.